Thursday, January 22, 2009

Unfinished business re: Vriesea splendens:

Two things today. One, I mentioned in the profile for Vriesea splendens that although they form offsets after blooming, like most other bromeliads, they're rumored to produce only one per plant. My plant at home has begun to grow an offset, and it looks like I will indeed get only one:

I mentioned in the original profile that with some plants (Aechmea fasciata and Guzmania lingulata among them), removing pups seems to encourage the production of even more: this is not likely to work with Vriesea splendens, since there's no easy way to remove a pup from the center of the rosette without wrecking the parent. So you may as well just let the plant do what it wants to do, and hope for twins.

I also mentioned in that profile that the closest relatives of the Vriesea genus are thought to be the Tillandsias, and that this isn't immediately obvious just by looking at them: a lot of Tillandsias are air plants, the small epiphytes with thin, stiff, grayish leaves, while Vrieseas tend to be much larger, greener, and broader. The resemblance is mostly observable in the flowers, and the flattened-bract arrangement of some of the Tillandsias: compare the pictures below. The colors change, but the shape and structure looks mighty similar:

Tillandsia cyanea inflorescence.

NOID Vriesea inflorescence.

Vriesea splendens inflorescence.

This is not a universal bract arrangement for Tillandsias, as you know if you've followed the posts about Tillandsia blooms, but the fact that these few plants have similar-looking flowers makes it at least believable that they're related.


Anonymous said...

The foliage does seem to resemble Tillandsia butzii, though for the other species of air plants, not so much.

phantomtiger said...

My plant produced two pups, but only one of them is actively growing and the other one just sits there. Maybe it takes a lot of energy to grow twins? I'm hoping at some point it will catch up with its larger sibling.

mr_subjunctive said...


Sounds like a reasonable guess to me, but I don't know.